Welcome to the First Grade
Teacher: Grace Gonzales
Welcome to First Grade!
Room Parent Announcements
Fog Willow Farm Field Trip: 1st Grade will have their first field trip this Wednesday. We will be going to the pumpkin patch at Fog Willow Farms with our 8th Grade Buddies! Students can wear free dress for this trip, and remember to please drop off your child’s booster seat outside the classroom when you drop off that morning.
Box Tops: Get out those scissors…first Box Tops collection is this Thursday…winning class gets the Spirit Stick. While everyone else has been scrambling to get their Annual Fund donations in, we have been out collecting Box Tops, so I am expecting more big things from this class!
Fall Carnival: You can pre-order tickets here and return to office by Oct 25.
Water: Kerry T, Sabrina K
Cupcakes: Marianna D, Katerina L
5:15: Kelleher, Kaplan
6:15: Abbott, Lagos
7:15: Abbott, SavageUpcoming Important 1st Grade Dates:
Oct 18: Field Trip to Fog Willow Farm (free dress)
Oct 19: Box Tops (Spirit Stick!!!)
Oct 27: Fall Rally
Oct 30: Change to Winter Uniform
Specialty Class Overviews
In science this year, first grade students will be participating in a program called Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Launch. The goal of this program is to engage young minds in science, technology, engineering, and math so that they will build confidence, explore interests, and set themselves up for success in middle school, high school, and beyond. PLTW Launch taps into the students’ natural curiosity and enthusiasm to empower them to become problem solvers. Students use structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking. They apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, while learning that it is okay to take risks and make mistakes. As teachers and students learn and discover together, education becomes far more exciting.
The curriculum is broken into modules that explore engineering, biomedical sciences, and computer programming. During the first part of the year, students in first grade will be working through a module called “Light: Observing the Sun, Moon, and Stars.” In this module, students will begin by observing the sun, moon, and stars. After identifying and describing patterns in their recorded data, the students will apply their knowledge of the sun, moon and stars to a real-world design problem. Students will be tasked with creating a playground structure designed to protect students from ultraviolet radiation. Students utilize their knowledge of light to design, build, and test structures created to solve this problem. Students then evaluate their designs, share their findings, and explore ideas to improve their structures based on the testing data.
For more information on the PLTW program, please visit www.pltw.org.
PE with Mr. Buzzard
In Physical Education, we have the opportunity to meet four times a week (30 minute classes). This year, Mr. Buzzard is going to present a different format. It’s going to be all about games. Each week, a game will be presented to the class. They will learn the rules on Mondayand play the game Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each day there will be variations of the game presented as well as discussions. These discussions will be centered around values within a game including: teamwork, sportsmanship, honesty, integrity, kindness, leadership, etc. The class is divided into four teams with new leaders each week. We focus on our routine which includes running outside and cardio work inside. And, of course, we have a lot of fun.
This year first graders will review the basic components of a computer and adjoining systems. They’ll also use the web-based program Talking Fingers to review their alphabet while reviewing correct finger positioning. When they demonstrate proper finger positioning four class periods in a row, their nameplate baseball will be placed upon the Homerow Homers board. Since the Talking Fingers program is accessible via the internet students are encouraged to also work and complete levels at home, www.talkingfingers.com. After completing Talking Fingers students will improve their typing on the sites Dance Mat Typing and Typing Club. Students will also take on various block coding tasks on code.org.
First graders go to the library every Friday afternoon for a thematic storytime, an introduction to engaging books, library skills, and checking out books. Stories for storytime are selected to support the unit themes of Imagine It, social studies, holidays, and other curriculum themes.
Visit the St. Michael’s Library Website at
Martha Rowland, Librarian
1st Grade Spanish
The First Grade Class will meet for Spanish on Monday and Wednesday. We will begin the year practicing greetings, naming classroom objects by color, shape, and size. The class will play a new game “Veo Veo” ( I Spy) naming objects in the classroom and shapes and colors around the school. During the fall season we’ll study the fall seasons colors, foods, and Halloween vocabulary. In the winter months we’ll study the holiday season’s family traditions, meals, and songs in Spanish. In the spring season we’ll study farm and domestic animals, our families, Easter, and Cinco de Mayo festivities and traditions.
What is in the Homework?
Homework is sent home weekly. A folder will come home with your child on Monday and will be returned on Friday The homework will have an agenda and reflect the learning within our week.
How Should Homework be Completed?
In First Grade, homework should only be 20 minutes per day. Each night, your student should read and complete one page of Language Arts and one page of Math. The homework should not be challenging for the student, but should reinforce content skills and confidence in their academic learning.
Looking for Support or Enrichment?
Inside of your child’s homework folder will be login information for our Language Arts & Math curriculum. Please access these resources as support to your child’s learning.
What is Reading Fluency?
Fluency is often defined as the rate (words per minute) and accuracy (number of words correctly identified) with which students perform reading tasks.
An additional dimension to fluency is known as prosody, or the rhythms and tones of spoken language. Where text is being read silently or aloud, much of its meaning comes from the way it sounds. Students who read with expression are able to segment text into meaningful units, marking phrase and sentence boundaries with pauses, vowel lengthening and changes in pitch and emphasis.
When students have learned to decode and automatically recognize many words by sight, they begin to read simple text aloud in a way that sounds like natural speech. By second grade, fluent reading is generally expected, yet a great deal of foundation building must occur in order to make it happen. Students in the upper grades who read aloud word by word or with little attention to commas or periods require intervention.
Why are decodable books so important for beginning readers? When a child is expected to read books that are not decodable, he/she often becomes frustrated and starts http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/break-the-word-guessing-habit/&;source=gmail&ust=1480559949379000&usg=AFQjCNHi8tsROjJavVgLQdyMgkUL8EJKRQ”>guessing at words, thereby developing poor reading strategies. In the process, the child loses the direct connection between the phonics and word analysis skills he/she is learning and the actual text he/she is expected to read. On the other hand, when a child reads a fully decodable book, he/she can use his knowledge of phonics and his/her word analysis skills to decode unfamiliar words. Since the child can figure out every word in the book, he/she feels successful, which in turn helps him/her build fluency and develop good reading strategies.
These short books were written with a heavy focus on the letter sounds introduced throughout the Imagine It! units. They are especially useful for children who need extra practice reading sight words in context. They also can provide extra practice in “sounding out” words. They are great for emergent readers! They are great for reading and rereading and rereading!!
Scholastic Book Orders
The class code to order online is N3LXD. You can order by going to scholastic.com/newparent. You can enter the class code and follow instructions to place your order.
First Grade Chapel Dates:
- February 8
- April 19
- June 5
- Fog Willow Pumpkin Farm – October 18 at 11:30am
- Crest Theater – March 20 at 12:00pm
If you are driving a field trip, please be sure you have turned in the Volunteer Driver form below to the office and have read the first grade field trip policy.
End of Year Party – June 6th or 7th
Garden on Fridays from 12:30-1:30pm.
- September 15
- September 29
- October 13
- October 27
- November 17
- December 1
- December 15
- January 12
- January 26
- February 9
- March 2
- March 16
- April 13
- April 27
- May 11
- June 1